Wednesday 30 May 2012

Winged Hussar Standard Bearer by PZG

PZG the Polish Union for the Deaf produced a lot of original and unique figures in their workshops to provide employment for deaf people.  Most were made a toys for children but some of the better ones were gilded, set on plinths and sold as ornaments for the tourist market.  The most spectacular set, to my mind, was based on the Polish army during the Great Turkish War of the late 17th Century, so far I have identified seven mounted figures: King Jan Sobieski, officer, standard bearer, trumpeter, kettle drummer, winged lancer and dragoon.

The standard bearer, showing the engraved detail of the flag, frankly I'm amazed this has remained intact through the years.

The horse is well sculpted in a rather elegant pose, the original plinth it was mounted on has been removed, I rather prefer it this way.

The armour and composite bow have a distinctly Mongol style to them.

Detail showing the armament, 2 pistols, long broadsword strapped to flank of horse, shorter sabre, shield and composite bow

I have only ever seen the King and the Lancer fully painted, the rest are always coated in gilt as shown above, I think this chap will be a contender for a repaint.  Such a shame they never made the Turks to oppose them.

Sunday 20 May 2012

New book - The One Inch Army II by Vic Ridik

As I looked around the hall at the PW Show my eye settled on a young couple struggling to get through the doors with two of the biggest suitcases on wheels I have ever seen.  They could have been refugees, just off the boat carrying all their worldly possessions, but they weren't, they were Victor Rudik with his sister Patte Rosebank from Canada and the suitcases contained copies of his new book. 

I recall meeting Vic about ten years ago when he came to the PW Show with his first book, my impression of him was a young man who positively boiled over with enthusiasm for HO scale figures, he's put on a bit of weight since then but little else has changed.  His book has put on a bit of weight too, it's 600% bigger than the first volume.

The One Inch Army II - The definitive guide to small scale plastic soldiers and accessories.
ISBN 978-0-9730517-1-1  Author Victor Rudik, published by 2206209 Ontario Incorporated.

To say there is a lot of information in this book is a bit of an understatement, it weighs in at two kilogrammes and with 850 pages there is an awful lot in there. Set out in similar format to Richard O'Brien's books it lists manufacturers alphabetically, gives a brief company history where known and then lists the figures they made. There are numerous black and white pictures on nearly every page and a colour section in the middle.  Small scale figures are very much the domain of the wargamer, many of whom I suspect are also becoming collectors, consciously or otherwise.  After all collecting, converting and wargaming are the Holy Trinity of the toy soldier experience irrespective of the size you prefer.

Let me state for the record that I do not collect small scale plastic figures (of course I have some, but I don't seek them out) so what possessed me to shell out £35 for this book? Well in part it was the sales pitch from Patte who appealed to the miser in me by pointing out that if I wanted to buy it later the shipping cost from Canada would be an extra £32, you can't argue with logic like that!  The main reason is that there's so much information here you simply have to have it, it's a great book to just dip into then you just keep looking at more and more and more.....................

Wednesday 16 May 2012

St. Cyr Cadets by Britains???????

You never know what will turn up at the Plastic Warrior Show, a curious item that caught my attention was this Britains "Eyes Right" series box of French St. Cyr Cadets.
The wording and style of print have been lifted from original Britains packaging but the box colour and the way it opens by lifting the cellophane fronted lid are all wrong.

Inside the box there is a printed insert which looks to be a French Chateau, the figures look to me to be copies of Starlux and they are held in place by wings cut into the insert.  The figures are a good 60mm high and made in hard plastic, painted to a good standard.

Underneath the box the wording is once again copied from original Britains packaging.

So what is it - a rare Britains set made in France or a fake made to catch the unsuspecting collector?
The answer is neither it was made in Poland, and the quality looks very good, I think any serious Britains or Starlux collector (which I am not) should include something like this in their collection for a bit of fun.

Monday 14 May 2012

New Armies in Plastic at Plastic Warrior Show - May 2012

Showcased at the Plastic Warior Show were some new items from Armies in Plastic, artillery for the American Revolution and War of 1812 ranges.  The figures are not new but the guns are, a howitzer and a mortar plus a bonus - there was some spare room on the mould so they have made a small "dragon head" barrel which can be fixed to either of these guns to turn them into Chinese Boxer Rebellion cannon. 

Also on show were the Camel Corps artillery with figures in red plastic, I was just about to embark on the conversion of some camel borne artillery for my Funny Little Wars Turkish army so these will save me the bother.  In the bottom right of the picture you can also just aboout make out the new trench sections AIP plan to produce, they are made of foam and come in modular form so you can make a line of trenches as long as you like.

And here's the man who makes them, Tony Ciccorello (hope I've spelt that right) of Armies in Plastic.

Friday 11 May 2012

Seen at the Plastic Warrior Show - May 2012

Now that I feel suitably recovered from the exertions of the day here are a few of the photos I took at the Plastic Warrior Show last weekend:

This rather fine mounted Saracen made in France by JIM was on the stall of Belgian collector Daniel Lepers, shame about the horse's tail though.

The joy of attending a show is the plethora of boxes to rummage through.

Even bigger boxes, plenty of raw materiel for collectors building armies or making conversions.

And then some good stuff

At the start of the show these shelves were full, you can see from the gaps that by the time I got my camera out nearly half had been sold by collector Joe Bellis.  Click on the picture to enlarge then click again and you will see:
Top row - bartender and gambler with derringer pistol from the Cherilea Western Bar Brawl set.
Second row - Large scale (65/70mm) Lone Star Indians, these have swoppet heads, looks like the whole set here.
Third row - The Cherilea Great Helm Knight, originally made in hollow cast lead as part of the Baronial Series, the mould for the horse was modified for the plastic version to make it a rearing rather than charging pose, also I have never seen the plastic version with the knights helm so I suspect they dispensed with it.
Fourth row - Four Monarch Highlanders (two each with double handed sword and claymore and buckler shield) which I mentioned recently in the post about Monarch Conquistadors, a Speedwell FFL, a Trojan WW2 Australian and at the end a Britains ECW roundhead.
Fifth row - A couple of the rare Crescent 65mm Mohicans, a Cherilea Davy Crockett, seven Timpo Cossacks - very hard to find these undamaged, Charbens FFL officer and another of the Trojan Australians.
Bottom row - Crescent mounted Arabs, FFL and First World War British Cavalry, the foot figures are two Cherilea Nubians, a prone Japanese machine gunner from Trojan (hard to see), a very rare Cherilea Indian firing a bow - previously made in hollow cast lead and finally a Cherilea Davy Crockett.

Monday 7 May 2012

New Replicants figures at the Plastic Warrior Show - May 2012

Well that's the Plastic Warrior Show over for another year, did I buy very much?  No not really, there was plenty of stuff there but I had made out a shopping list (nothing special - mostly stuff for conversions) and for once was determined not to deviate from it.........Big Mistake, note to self next year don't make list.

The thing about this show is that it's always been rather more of a social event than anything else and I invariably find mysself spending most of my time talking to people rather than buying.  Over the next few days I'll post up more entries about the show but to kick off there were some new figures from Replicants:

Bonnie Prince Charlie who led the Jacobite Rising of 1745.

It has become a bit of a tradition now that Replicants launch new products either at the London PW show or the Chicago show, this year there were two personality figures for the Jacobite Rising series.

The Duke of Cumberland, son of George 11 and victor at the Battle of Culloden.

Below are the English infantry led by the Duke of Cumberland, these were launched at the PW Show in 2011 but the picture I took at that time was pretty poor quality so here is a better one...........

.......and here is the man who makes them, Peter Cole sculpts the figures (same size, just like they used to in the 1960's rather than 3X the size of the final product like they do today) and makes the moulds himself.

Peter Cole of Replicants at the 27th Plasstic Warrior Show - 5th May 2012